So you want to stay at home during your renovation? It comes with a myriad of advantages – you won’t need to rent somewhere, it’s no more difficult to get to work or school, and you’ll stay on top of the day to day changes (literally!). But you’ll need to be prepared to face your fair share of challenges as well. And there’s no doubt about it – coexisting with a destructive and transformative force such as a team of tradies will show you a lot about what you can handle. There will be noise. There will be disruption to your regular routine. There will be dust on your floors again an hour after you last swept it and elsewhere, constantly. But at the end, you will have your home exactly as you want it. Here are some tips on how to make living at your home during a renovation as painless as possible.
Why stay at home?
The first and most obvious reason is to save money. It’s far less expensive to continue living at home than renting elsewhere. But there are other factors as well. Your home might be the best location to get the kids to school or your partner to work, and temporarily moving might also mean making separate arrangements for pets and vehicles. Or, perhaps the renovation just won’t cause much disruption to your routine. (Lucky you!)
Staying at home solves a lot of the above issues, and obviously not without some drawbacks. But for many clients it is worth the trade-off.
What are the biggest frustrations with living at home?
Construction usually starts at 7am and finishes at 3.30pm. This is completely fine if that coincides exactly with when you’re out of your house, but this is unlikely to be the case. You will at least get your home to yourself on the weekends, but consider spending as much time as you can elsewhere. You can also write off entertaining guests – it might not be safe to have guests around a construction site if they don’t know the rules.
There is also the mess. Construction sites are busy, dirty places, so be prepared for it. Unfortunately it is the nature of construction to produce vast quantities of dust, and that will occur at every stage of the construction process. Before construction starts, make sure to put away objects out on display. Roll up your rugs and cover furniture with sheets. The best surfaces to leave exposed are ones that can be easily swept or wiped down with a cloth. Soft floors will have to be covered with plywood or cardboard to protect them from wear and tear. If part of your existing home is being demolished, you will need to store furniture and other items from that area elsewhere, which eats into your remaining space.
Sometimes, the electricity will go out. Sometimes the water will. And worst of all, sometimes the internet will. It’s important to have excellent communication with your construction team so you can plan around these events and schedule in advance. That way you won’t be caught out with a wet load of washing on Sunday night.
Everybody has to be aware of The Hump. The Hump is the metaphorical midpoint and dramatic climax of your renovation from a narrative perspective. Whether that occurs two weeks into your renovation or two months in, or two days before completion, it marks the point where you’ve finally had enough of this whole “renovation” gig and just want it to end. All the little annoyances come to a head. Things that were tolerable suddenly become intolerable. One more speck of dust on your favourite lounge chair is going to send you over your limit. This is The Hump.
It’s important to know many people struggle with surmounting The Hump in their renovation, and these feelings are expected and normal. Once you make it over the top, your renovation becomes smooth sailing once again. You find yourself with a newfound ability to cope with the trials and challenges of a renovation and you’ll have grown stronger because of it. You’ve ascended to the top of your metaphorical Mount Everest. Now it’s time for the relatively less strenuous walk down.
Working with the Workmen
The people on your worksite can be your greatest allies. They’re the ones making all the progress, keeping your home safe, and ensuring their work coincides with yours as seamlessly as possible. Here’s how to make their jobs easier:
Listen to their safety rules and follow them. The less time they have to worry about your safety, the more time they have to work on your renovation.
Give them their own entrance and exit. That means fewer footprints through your living space. If you can also leave them a space, such as a garage or other area to safely store their equipment and materials, all the better.
Workmen often bring their own kettles and appliances to your jobsite. It’s nice to have a hot cuppa at the beginning of the day, and a happy worksite is a productive one. The people on your worksite aren’t just your greatest allies- you’re theirs as well.
Clear communication is going to be your best friend. If you are particularly challenged with something, let your team know! You may be able to work out a solution together.
And finally, always remember you’re not alone in this process. Lean on the people you know can support you, and remember millions of people have been through the exact same process. They all got over The Hump. Eventually, their homes became free of dust. And at the end of it all, they had the home they desired for so long. Soon enough, so will you.
Want to start your renovation journey?
We’ve built hundreds of extensions and additions all across Sydney’s North Shore and Northern Beaches regions. Do you need a second storey addition or an extra bedroom? Get in touch here with the team at Family Home Designers & Builders to discuss your renovation, or call us 9417 5777.